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Q: Engine’s knocking and burning oil

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A few months back my 2006 Ford Escape began using up more oil than usual. The car was only at 45,000 miles so I wasn’t all that surprised. The problem got a little worse and then last week the engine started to knock. I was just about to have it checked out when the engine stopped running with a big clunk. It wouldn’t start up again. I think the engine may be totally busted at this point, which is disappointing. Is there anything I can do to get it replaced smoothly and keep the next one running longer?

In order for you to get your engine replaced as smoothly as possible, have it done by a qualified mechanic. The Ford dealer would be a good option if your vehicle is under warranty because the repair would likely be free or at very low cost to you. If the vehicle is not under warranty the next decision to make would be whether to install a brand new engine or get a used one. A new engine will be the best option because all the parts are new. A fresh engine is less likely to have any issues than a used one. On the other hand, a new engine would be much more expensive than a used one. If a new engine is the route you choose, simply install and drive as the new engine needs no initial maintenance. If a used engine is installed, replace all gaskets, spark plugs, oil, and rubber vacuum hoses as these are all maintenance items that can cause problems later on. It is a good idea to have this done before the engine is installed because, outside the vehicle, the parts to replace are much more accessible. Whether a new or used engine is used, it is a good idea to replace all of your engine mounts as well because any faulty mounts could lead to premature engine failure. As far as keeping it running longer just make sure to check the oil at least once a week in addition to all the other steps listed.

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